Another Newhaven Tug

By Andy Gilbert

The Danzig was a sort of static feature at the corner of the East and Railway quays for some years through the late 1960's and early 1970's, and was involved in the salvage attempts on the coaster "Walter Richter" which was stranded on Seaford beach in February 1972. She then disappeared and I have not been able to trace where she went. Does anyone know?

Photo:Danzig at the Railway Quay - early 1970's

Danzig at the Railway Quay - early 1970's

Kind Permission of Newhaven Museum

This page was added by Andy Gilbert on 04/07/2008.
Comments about this page

Sorry but your information is incorrect. The Danzig was owned by Tidys, a construction firm I believe. She wasn't involved in the Walter Richter salvage.
Another tug named Danzig plus Hermes were involved in the first failed attempt.
The sucessful attempt was made by the Tug Mallard, owned by Metrec, a Newhaven based firm, I was a diver/crewman on this vessel during the salvage operation.

By hamish mackenzie
On 05/01/2010

Thanks for your comment, Hamish. I've done some re-checking to see if my facts were correct.

Danzig (243 tons) was built in 1938 and owned by the well-known German tug and salvage company Bugsier Redeeri, as was her larger sister, the Hermes. She's actually flying the German flag in this photo, with the Red Ensign as courtesy flag at the foremast, so she was definitely under German ownership at this time.

As far as I know, it was this Danzig that was involved in the first, unsuccessful, attempt to refloat Walter Richter. On-line ship indexes seem to show no other tugs called Danzig at this time.

You're quite correct to say that it was Metrec that refloated the Walter Richter, through a combination of tugs, on-shore winches and bulldozers. Do you have any more information on the salvage?

And were you on Mallard when she ran amok at Newhaven? - see my page about the incident here:

As a result of my checking, I've discovered that Danzig had quite a career. In 1939, she was taken over by the Kriegsmarine and assisted the battleship Schleswig-Holstein as she fired the first shots of WWII. Later in the war, she was involved in the rescue of over 2,700 souls from the German Hospital ship Bremerhaven.


By Andy Gilbert
On 05/01/2010

My mistake, I'm thinking of another vessel whose name escapes me. She was of German build and lay in Newhaven for a long time. There was a vessel ahead of her named Maluti and then Helen Julian ex Belgian wooden trawler converted for salvage, on which I was at one time a crew member. Then I joined Metrec and was based on the Sheila Holman, a large ex East German trawler converted for salvage. however I can't remember the Danzig being berthed there for any period of time.
What would you like to know about the salvage of the Walter Richter?

I was going to say 'Rostock', but that may have been the Sheila Holman you refer to. Maluti was the yacht / floating showroom belonging to Barry Bevan Funnel.

If you have any stories and pictures of the Walter Richter or any of the Metrec work, we'd love to see and hear them. Andy

By hamish mackenzie
On 09/01/2010

I've been in contact with Charlie Verral who has kindly put a series of pics of the Walter Richter on this site. If you look at the pictures of Mallard, in the "Tug goes berserk" item, she is berthed at Number 11 stage alongside the YC415, an ex admiralty dumb salvage vessel. She picked up the anchors used in the salvage of the Walter Richter and was then towed to Scotland to the Cromarty Firth where we salvaged the wreck of HMS Natal. She was based in Invergordon and used for various jobs in the Firth. Metrec sold out to J.P.Knights towage of Rochester and the YC415 was broken up in Invergordon about 1982.

By hamish mackenzie
On 22/01/2010

Revisiting a few older Our Newhaven pages, I came across this one, from nearly 7 years ago.

The other German vessel that was here for some time was the Hamburg. Officially a pilot cutter, she was also equipped for towing as a tug. Originally built as the Preussen in 1934, she was converted into a yacht and owned by actor Curt Jurgens.

By Andy Gilbert
On 19/10/2016

Not sure if this the same tugboat your talking about but check out #81 on page 7 of this site: BUGSIER-,REEDEREI-UND BERGUNGS G.m.b.h. 1866-2016 

I sailed on a similar looking tugboat in 1977 and that time it was known as the Mayflower VII. 

By Gordon Vittachi
On 03/05/2020

Yes, it's the same tug, Gordon.

By Andy Gilbert
On 03/05/2020

Yes, I thought so, recognised the lines. Would you happen to have any clear photos of the tug. As a raw 17yr old she was my first vessel of many. Sadly I don't have any clear pics of her.  Thanks

By Gordon Vittachi
On 04/05/2020

I'm afraid not. This was the only decent one I could find at Newhaven Museum, who kindly allowed us to use it. 

I'm sure you've tried searching on line, but there appear to be just a handful of images of her, none of which are really clear. Lekko seems to have the best one.

By Andy Gilbert
On 04/05/2020

Hello Andy & Gordon  , I was searching a long time for the history of the Mayflower 7, and now I finally found your article,  I was in 1976/1977 in Beverwijk at the Tug with my father he was at that time captain(Nelis van Dijk) and had to bring her to Kaapstad, and took another smaller Tug as cargo behind for the same destination, the trip was a disaster, at a storm with rough sea, they had a black-out, with a broken engine, and they had to cut the rope from the cargo / other Tug, because they should collide with each other in the very rough sea, after that they managed to repair the engines and with lots of technical problems they managed to go to Kaapstad, regards, Jur van Dijk

By Jur
On 12/02/2024

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